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Innovative ‘federation’ style school set to double pupil intake

An innovative plan that will double a primary school’s pupil intake has been approved by Lambeth Council following a public consultation.

The plan will see Henry Cavendish Primary School in Hydethorpe Road operate across two sites when it expands into the Woodfield Centre in Dingley Lane.

The expansion will create an additional 420 primary school places by 2016 with the existing management team and Governors at Henry Cavendish in Balham responsible for the running of the new site in Streatham.

The Streatham site, located at the centre of an area where there is no primary school within a 750 metre radius, is unoccupied and will receive its first intake of 60 reception aged pupils from September. The Woodfield Centre was formerly the Mortimer Special School and has up until recently been used by the council as temporary classrooms to allow building to progress. It is considered ideal to be adopted into a primary school.

The council’s innovative ‘federation model’ enjoyed strong support by a majority of parents within the area during a four-week public consultation which ended on December 29. Parents see the strategy as ‘benefiting the wider community’s provisions within education’ as well as ‘yielding positive long-term benefits’.
Parents who live closeby to the Woodfield Centre have also expressed their support for the strategy as children in the area have been forced to attend or apply to schools located far from their homes.

Alexandra Hardy, Headteacher at Henry Cavendish School, said: “We are delighted that the local authority has asked Henry Cavendish to expand and we look forward to supporting the needs of the local community with our positive ethos and good practice.”

Councillor Paul McGlone, Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Service, added: “The council agreed our primary school expansion strategy back in February last year, and we have been delivering School projects against that strategy ever since. Expansion is a key issue in Lambeth and this model will set a precedent for future school expansion plans within the borough.”

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